U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening on Wall Street on Tuesday, following the previous session's sharp rally fueled by better than expected housing data and by Washington's plan to help banks get rid of troubled assets.

At 0935 GMT (5:35 a.m. EDT), futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.9 percent, Dow Jones futures were down 0.8 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.6 percent.

The U.S. plan sent world stock markets surging, with Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> adding 3.3 percent to hit a 2-1/2 month closing high on Tuesday, while the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday, after surging 3 percent in the previous session, led by financial shares such as Royal Bank of Scotland , up 7.6 percent and Deutsche Bank , up 3.3 percent.

European banking stocks also got support from Switzerland's second-largest bank Credit Suisse , which said it has had a strong start to 2009 and it would ask shareholders for the option to raise equity capital for acquisition, while Deutsche Bank's chief executive said the bank will return to profit this year if the global economy, financial markets and the regulatory environment develop as expected.

U.S. President Barack Obama urged fellow leaders on Tuesday to agree swift action at a G20 summit next month to spur global recovery. In an article for German newspaper Die Welt, Obama called for an agreement on stimulus measures at the April 2 meeting in London which he said could revive economic growth.

Prominent economist Martin Feldstein said on Tuesday the recession in the United States will stretch well into next year, probably raising the need for another fiscal stimulus package at least as large as the first one. Feldstein, a Harvard University professor who is a member of President Barack Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, told Reuters that the stimulus would offset only a relatively small piece of the likely fall in spending, exports and construction.

In corporate news, Goldman Sachs and China's ICBC <1398.HK> have been in discussions about the New York bank reducing its stake in the world's largest financial institution, according to a report on Tuesday.

Long term Bank of America shareholder Jerry Finger launched on Monday his formal campaign to strip Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis of his job as chairman, saying the bank took too much risk by acquiring Merrill Lynch & Co. Separately, two large U.S. pension funds sought to lead a class-action suit against the bank over the Merrill acquisition.

Fifteen of 20 leading American International Group bonus recipients have agreed to give them back in full, said New York's top legal officer who is looking into $165 million in executive pay at the troubled company bailed out by the U.S. government.

World airlines are set to lose $4.7 billion this year as a result of the global recession that has shrunk passenger and cargo demand, industry body IATA said on Tuesday.

U.S. shares soared around 7 percent on Monday after the Obama administration detailed a plan to purge toxic assets from bank balance sheets, fuelling optimism about a revival in bank lending and driving double-digit gains in financial shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> jumped 497.48 points, or 6.84 percent, to 7,775.86 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> surged 54.38 points, or 7.08 percent, to 822.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> spiked 98.50 points, or 6.76 percent, to 1,555.77.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)